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Weather modification technology deployed to tackle Jakarta’s air pollution

The Indonesian government’s pioneering use of Weather Modification Technology (TMC) aims to battle air pollution in Jakarta. Key strategies include rainfall induction to cleanse pollutants.

Asep Kuswanto, Head of Jakarta Environment Agency, on Tuesday (22 Aug) revealed a delay in TMC implementation until August’s end due to cloud scarcity.




INDONESIA: In an unprecedented move, the Indonesian government has deployed Weather Modification Technology (TMC) to combat air pollution in the Jakarta area.

The command center for TMC operations is established at Husein Sastranegara Airport Lanud in Bandung.

Budi Harsoyo, the Coordinator of the TMC BRIN Management Laboratory, released a statement in Bandung on Sunday (20 Aug), noting that the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) predicts the potential development of rain clouds in Jakarta and the Southern part of West Java from 19 to 21 August.

Budi stated, “On the previous Saturday, a flight sortie was conducted with the objective of seeding in Cianjur, Depok, South Jakarta, and Central Jakarta.”

He also highlighted that various countries, including China, South Korea, Thailand, and India, have already implemented TMC initiatives to reduce pollutants.

However, this marks the first implementation of such technology in the Jakarta area by utilizing funds from the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

Budi emphasized that a primary approach for pollutant reduction involves inducing rainfall to wash pollutants out of the atmosphere.

If this is unfeasible, the TMC method aims to destabilize the atmosphere through targeted interventions.

This is achieved by dispersing seeding material, such as dry ice, at specific altitudes.

Nevertheless, the TMC technique that doesn’t rely on rainfall demands meticulous preparation.

Budi underlined that the TMC team is currently in the process of designing a solution to safely transport dry ice aboard aircraft, as it consists of CO2 and improper handling could lead to oxygen depletion or hypoxia among the crew.

Budi introduced an alternative seeding material, quicklime, which conditions the air to be warmer compared to dry ice, which cools the air.

However, the underlying principle remains consistent: altering the temperature within a specific altitude to disrupt atmospheric stability.

Andri Ramdhani, Head of the Center for Public Meteorology, affirmed that the opportunity for TMC implementation remains open, although challenging due to the dry season’s conditions with limited cumulus clouds suitable for salt dispersion.

He noted that during the current dry season, the atmospheric conditions pose challenges, including low Relative Humidity (RH) in the upper layer and reduced Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE).

Andri expressed hope that prevailing winds will drive clouds towards Jakarta, expanding the coverage area for rainfall.

He emphasized that TMC forms a part of the Government’s broader strategy to enhance air quality and minimize pollution in the region.

Application of TMC in the capital city will be delayed until the end of August

Asep Kuswanto, Head of the Jakarta Environment Agency, informed that the implementation of TMC within the capital city will experience a delay until the conclusion of August, owing to the absence of cloud cover.

Asep shared this an update during a meeting at Commission D DPRD (Regional People’s Representative Council) Jakarta on Tuesday (22 Aug).

He mentioned that on the previous Monday evening (21 Aug), his team engaged in discussions with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.

“Yesterday evening, it was announced that TMC implementation in the Jakarta region remains challenging due to insufficient cloud cover. Clouds play a pivotal role in determining the feasibility of TMC.”

‘Based on BMKG’s observations, it’s expected that TMC cannot be conducted in Jakarta until 28-29 August,” Asep explained.

Asep elaborated that in collaboration with BMKG and BRIN, future endeavors will involve the installation of generators in several Jakarta buildings.

“We have another meeting scheduled for tonight to proceed with the generator installation. Additionally, we’re exploring alternative approaches for successful modifications,” he affirmed.

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